“Bitter Waters”

“When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink…Then the people complained and turned against Moses. ‘What are we going to drink?’ they demanded.”

Exodus 15:23-24

Only three days after their Red Sea deliverance, the Israelites once again complained. The water in the wilderness was too bitter to drink, so they turned against their leader and began making demands.


I remember all too well a bitter time in our wilderness when Ron and I did the same. After many wonderful victories while pastoring a certain church, we were suddenly asked to leave. Like the Israelites, we felt extremely disappointed, complained to God about our circumstances, and even demanded some answers.


It’s interesting that God answered our complaints in a similar way He answered the Israelites. Moses had to TRUST God to obey a strange request…put a piece of wood into the bitter water. We also had to TRUST God to see that Jesus was right there, on that piece of wood IN our bitter water. When we changed our focus from the bitterness to Jesus, our complaining and demanding turned to worship. My most precious memories in that apartment are around the lunch table singing love songs to Jesus. There in HIS presence, our bitter waters became sweet.


It was at Marah, the place of bitter waters, that God revealed Himself as Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Heals. We can TRUST Him to heal our broken hearts, and make the bitter, sweet!



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